FDA to authorize two COVID-19 vaccines for US children under 5

by Ezekiel J. Walker
FDA to authorize two COVID-19 vaccines for US children under 5
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The Food and Drug Administration is now expected to authorize two COVID-19 vaccines for America’s youngest children.

On Wednesday, an FDA advisory committee voted 21-0 that the benefits of Moderna’s MRNA, +0.32% two-dose vaccine for children between the ages of 6 months old and 5 years old outweigh the risks.

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According to Market Watch, the committee also voted 21-0 in favor of BioNTech BNTX, -0.09% and Pfizer’s PFE, +0.45% three-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 6 months old and 4 years old. (The dosing for both vaccines is different than it is for adults.)

The FDA is not required to follow the advice of the advisory committee but it often does. Once the regulator makes its decision on both vaccines, the next step in the regulatory process is getting approved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and then finally a sign-off from CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

According to CNN, about 17 million kids under the age of 5 are now eligible for Covid-19 vaccines.

Pharmacies and doctor’s offices will soon carry the vaccine.

Pediatricians’ offices and pharmacies are the main sites where young children can get vaccinated. CVS and Walgreens have also announced plans to provide the child-sized vaccinations in their pharmacies.

CVS will begin administering Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines to children under five on Tuesday, a communications representative told CNN.

“We know that parents are going to want to get their children vaccinated in pediatricians’ offices. Some people will go to a pharmacy, some people will go to a children’s hospital or some sort of a community health center,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, said Monday on CBS.
“But the bottom line is, I think a majority of parents are going to want to get their child vaccinated in their pediatrician’s office,” Jha said. “So, many pediatricians are going to be offering the vaccine.”

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